Tour Buzz: The Rolling Stones, Foreigner and Steely Dan

THE LIKELY LADS: Brand-spanking new music comin’ at ya! The Rolling Stones are scheduled to play at the MGM Grand on May 11 ($150-$750). A quartet of fresh-faced lads from London, the Stones meld disparate influences—blues, rock, psychedelia, even a hint of disco—into an aggressively seductive sound that one can only describe as “Rolling Stones-like.” Perhaps you’ve heard their hit singles “Satisfaction,” “Brown Sugar” or “Start Me Up,” or maybe you’ve seen the band’s guitarist Keith Richards in a cameo role in the Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean movies—but in any case, they’re on their way up. People are talking about the Rolling Stones, wondering they’re going to do with the next 50 years of their career. And after they’ve played this big deal, headlining Vegas show, their long-awaited stardom will surely come.

SOME URGENCY: Okay, that was fun, right? I would continue this little farce, but I can’t pretend that Foreigner—playing at Sunset Station on May 11 ($30-$85)—is anything but old news. True, Foreigner has released new music more recently than the Stones have—Can’t Slow Down came out in 2009, the Stones’ A Bigger Bang in 2005—but there’s no sense of momentum with these guys. At least the Stones seem like they’re trying to shift their well-used paradigms around, while Foreigner pretty much hit the brakes creatively in the late 1980s. (Admittedly, this stasis owes as much to the on-again, off-again status of lead singer Lou Gramm—currently “off”—as well as the slow, steady death of album-oriented rock radio, and the changing tastes of the average American stripper.) Still, it’s hard to deny the hits—“Urgent,” “Hot Blooded,” “I Want To Know What Love Is”—even if it’s not Lou Gramm singing them. Your favorite songs have a way of stopping the clock.

NOW ON SALE: “What I don’t get is why you always crap all over the old rockers who are just playing the hits for us fans, while you always give a pass to Steely Dan,” my readers might complain, if this column had readers. Well, imaginary friends, that’s because Steely Dan—who plays the Pearl at the Palms on August 23, with tickets beginning at $80—was ahead of its time in the 1970s, and they sat out virtually all of the 1980s and 1990s. They’re only now beginning to mature.